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Katy ISD Holds Multi-Agency Active Shooter Exercise


June 8, 2023

By Natalie Cook Clark

Katy ISD and multiple agencies held a mock, full-scale exercise, to simulate an active shooter event at Tompkins High School yesterday. The District is always evaluating and focusing on student safety.

Katy ISD held an active shooter exercise at Tompkins High School.

A Mock Emergency Exercise took Place at Tompkins High School

Yesterday, June 7, 2023, Katy ISD in conjunction with Fort Bend County Homeland Security and Emergency Management, local EMS, fire and law enforcement agencies, held a mock exercise, to simulate an active shooting event at Tompkins High School. The District gave ample notice to the community to avoid any panic over sounds and first responder presence during the event.

“Unfortunately, we are living in a time where public schools face an evolving set of security risks and threats,” says Katy ISD Superintendent Dr. Ken Gregorski. “Target acts of violence like an active shooter are unpredictable.”

Internal Teams and Multiple Agencies Involved in Event

The District worked with internal teams to be able to practice and demonstrate their ability to respond to an active shooter. They also used actors that were in trauma make-up.

This helped them to practice controlling and neutralizing an assailant, working along multiple agencies, initiating public messaging and more.

The District also included communications and mental health departments in the exercise.

Katy ISD Police Chief Henry Gaw stressed that only simulated fire was used and that no live ammunition was used during the event. He described in a press conference that the exercise used a scenario of a hypothetical shooter entering the Tompkins High School cafeteria during lunchtime.

Due to security and safeguarding their practices, Katy ISD could not go into specifics of the exercise.

Lessons Learned that will Continue to Guide

“Today we learned lessons that will continue to guide our agencies,” says Chief Gaw, who stressed that the District’s top priority is student safety.

Many agencies that included fire and EMS were present for the exercise including Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan.

“It was a great opportunity to engage in an active shooter incident and get the chance to identify improvements,” says Sheriff Fagan. “The collaboration was excellent but we’re going to debrief and learn from today.”

Katy ISD resides is three counties: Harris, Fort Bend and Waller. The District plans to host similar exercise events at campuses in all counties.

As school shootings continue to plague our Nation, Katy ISD states they will continue to train, practice, and evolve. They do follow the National Incident Management System, which is a standardized approach to incident management developed by the United States Homeland Security. It was established in 2004 and is tasked to facilitate coordination between multiple agencies of first responders.


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